I need to stay healthy, injury free and well rested for at least the next nine days.
I always seem to have something come up just days before a goal race, which probably has something to do with the time of year I like to run marathons (fall, when flu season hits), how hard I run my last long run or if I do a tune-up race near the end of training at a tempo pace (my immune system gets knocked down a bit), and how much sleep I get in the two weeks leading up to the race.
Because I’ve been feeling yucky since Monday (headache, stomach ache, generally blah-ness), I’ve been taking it easy this week on workouts and runs. I usually like to do shorter duration, higher intensity runs in the last two weeks leading up to a marathon, but I think I’m good for speed since I nailed my half marathon race pace two weeks ago. This week and next I plan to focus on some easy runs with a few pick-ups near the end, yoga and foam rolling.
I can’t believe my last long run of training is already here — and it looks like it’ll be a perfect day for it! I’ve been pretty lucky with the weather for almost all my runs during this round of training; it certainly makes for a more pleasant running experience when you’re not out in the cold and rain for hours. Even though the heat can get to you sometimes during summer marathon training, I’d take that any day over winter marathon training. Fall races FTW!
Falling running sure beats winter running!
I’ve got 34 km to run today (once I finish this blog and, more importantly, my coffee), then the Beat The Blerch half marathon next week, followed by a 15 km run, a 10 km run then race day.
Have I mentioned how strongly I dislike training for a marathon during the winter?
As a chronically cold person, I much prefer warmer climes when running outside for long periods of time; I’d take sweating it out on a hot and muggy three-hour run to trying to stay warm during a gloomy and damp three-hour run ANY day. Even though I don’t have to deal with snow and 20 below temperatures here on the west coast, I struggle to get warm no matter how many layers I wear, both when I’m running outside and when I’m just sitting around inside. And when you’re sitting there freezing before you need to go outside to run at 6 a.m. in even COLDER temperatures, getting up and out the door is a real struggle. (more…)
You pick a promising goal race with enough time to run another qualifying race if you don’t make it during the first attempt, and then make a plan to get faster.
To be honest, I’m not thrilled about training for a marathon in the cold winter months when it’s dark and rainy out. But if I want to run the Phoenix Marathon on February 27, 2016, long runs on cold winter mornings will have to happen. I’m also not thrilled that training will start in a few weeks, even though I had planned (and started) to go into a muscle/strength building phase.
But Boston is my goal, and since I didn’t make it in for 2016, 2017 will have to be the year.
One of the reasons why I chose the Phoenix Marathon (other than it will give me enough time to try again at the BMO Vancouver Marathon in May if I don’t run at least 6 minutes under my qualifying time of 3:35) is the net elevation loss on the course. It’s pretty much downhill the whole way, which is awesome, whereas Vancouver is a bit too hilly for my liking. Also, Matt and I have decided we could make a trip of it: Hitting up some NHL games, Disneyland and Vegas on the way back. Sounds like the perfect excuse to run Phoenix to me! (more…)
Debbie and me just before the marathon last year where I BQ’ed
You would think if you ran a marathon after 17 long weeks of training, hit a PR and achieved your goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon without getting injured, you would be happy. Thrilled. Satisfied. It’s time to take it easy and go on living life, right?
Yes… but no.
It’s not that easy when you’re a runner. You have that day-after elation (or crushing sadness) of achieving (or not achieving) your goal. You tweet, Facebook and blog about your race and respond to messages like these for days: “Congrats! Well done!” or “You made the right choice to DNF, I’ve been there, it’s okay,” or “Heal up quickly! You’ll come back stronger!” After that, you get an email from the marathon photography company notifying you that your race photos are ready and you laugh/reminisce while browsing through them online (“that must have been near the end, look at my face! And what am I doing with my hands? I would never pay $50 for these!”). (more…)
You’ve just run your last long run in your marathon training plan for that fall goal race, and feel relieved that the hardest part of training is over. No more packing around multiple water bottles or gels during your long runs; no more spending an entire weekend morning pounding the pavement. You’ve put in the hard work. Now it’s time to ease up and get ready for race day.
But just how much resting up should you do?
Should you still do speedwork?
How long should your weekend runs be now?
Should you still strength train?
What do you eat?
How you taper depends a bit on how you train, but generally you want to cut your training volume by 20 to 30 per cent each week from your highest volume week. So, for example, if four weeks out you ran a total of 55 kilometres (two 7.5 km runs, one 4 km run, and one 36 km run), three weeks out you could run a total of 39 kilometres (two 7.5 km runs at marathon pace with 4-7 minutes of repetitions in each, one 4 km run, and one 20 km run); two weeks out you could run a total of 28 kilometres (two 7.5 km runs at marathon pace and one 13 km run); and the week before the race you could do two easy 5 km runs and one easy 3 km run with a few pick-ups near the end to get the legs moving.
Aside from cutting your mileage accordingly, here are a few other things you should consider to properly taper for a marathon in three weeks: (more…)
Happy National Running Day! Although I won’t be logging any miles today because Wednesdays are my resistance training days, I thought I’d put together a sample Boston Qualifier training plan in honour of the day! You can use the base of this plan (the Monday to Friday workouts) for 15 weeks to build up strength, speed and stamina leading up to the two to three weeks before race day. It’s very similar to the one I used to achieve my BQ this year, so I know it can work 😉
Now that you aspiring long distance runners know there’s a chance you could gain some weight during training, I definitely don’t want that to be a discouraging factor in your decision to run a marathon or ultra. First of all, it shouldn’t really matter if you gain a few pounds. Your body is doing what it needs to do to prepare to run for four-plus hours straight. That’s a pretty big energy demand on your body. Yes you get hungrier than normal, and yes you crave carbs, because they are the preferred energy source for your body. That said, if you want to run a marathon — or maybe lots of marathons in the future — and really want to maintain or improve your physique, there are a few things you can do to prevent weight gain during training.
Before I give you some tips, I need to get all science-y about nutrition for a moment. (more…)
As runners, we all know we should be doing it. It should be as much a part of our training as speed drills and the long, slow run.
No, I’m not talking about stretching (even though we should do that, too).
I’m talking about strength training.
A few weeks ago, Lululemon reposted this article on their blog from Jason Fitzgerald, a running coach at StrengthRunning.com, which promotes the benefits of strength training for runners. While Fitzgerald does a pretty good job of explaining why runners should incorporate strength training into their training plans and what they should be doing, he doesn’t really explain how. (more…)